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INTO... continued

with loose pieces of marble all along the way. It winded up a hill in varying 30 - 45 degree angles before we reached what seemed like a circular meeting of karst boulders jotting out along the side of the mountain. I was soaking from perspiration as we all sat by the lip of this monster of a hole.

"So Delfin, have you ever gone down this hole" I asked the kid. " Nope, and I'm not Delfin. My name is Daniel" he curtly replied. I was bad with names so I apologized and he seemed to switch back to his cheery nature right away. "My grandfather told me they used to haul guano here during the 70's using a box elevator with a pulley and a rope. Then in 1980, two Americans (locals around the village tend to consider all white men as Americans) went down and one couldn't climb back so the villagers had to rescue him, Daniel added.

"So Delfin, why did they call this hole The Python Cave?" I casually asked. He stared at me with unbelieving eyes but ignored my mistake. "Someone caught a Python that had a body as big as a tree trunk years ago and they say there are more Pythons down there. They also caught a white monitor lizard."

"Wow, that's rare" Basil replied. "So Delfin, what happened to the Python and the white lizard?" "The drunkards ate them! And my name is Daniel, not Delfin!" he snorted. " Well, you're going to be a Delfin before the day is over!" I said. We all chuckled including Delfin! Vie was delirious with laughter. She was hot and ready to get down and dirty into the cave, but we had to seriously assess the rigging first. After scrutinizing the formations along the entrance, we headed back to camp, took a refreshing bath by the spring, and sat around our camp discussing various ways of rigging over supper. Like three Elves of the wooded realm, we laughed and shared tales of magic mushrooms, of hippies, and of song, and of the paradise days of Puerto Galera. Afterwards we lay in our tents in silence amidst the trickling song of the brook and the gentle percussions of rain like a lullaby for a much needed sleep.

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